1956 March 9

J. Edgar Hoover Tells President Eisenhower “Brown” Decision to Blame for “Rising Tensions”


FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was a strong opponent of racial equality throughout his long career as head of the Bureau (1924–1972). On this day, he privately told President Dwight Eisenhower that Brown v. Board of Education (May 17, 1954), which declared racially segregated schools unconstitutional, was the cause of an increase in racial tensions. In fact, there were incidents of violence or near-violence across the South as segregationists tried to prevent school integration, but responsibility clearly lay with white racists and not the historic Supreme Court decision.

Hoover is  notorious for the FBI’s campaign to “neutralize” Martin Luther King as a civil rights leader, which the Bureau launched on December 23, 1963. Attorney General Robert Kennedy had authorized FBI wiretaps on King on October 10, 1963. And on November 21, 1964, the FBI mailed a notorious anonymous blackmail latter to King strongly suggesting that he commit suicide.

Read Hoover’s Correspondence to Eisenhower and his cabinet: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/civil_rights_eisenhower_administration/1956_03_01_Hoover_Statement.pdf

Learn more about Hoover: Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets (1991)

Read the Senate Church Committee report on the FBI’s vendetta against Dr. Martin Luther King:  http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports_book3.htm

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